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Have a Merry Christmas and a Frugal New Year

Well guys, Christmas is finally (almost) here.

It doesn’t really feel like it in my neck of the woods because the weather has certainly been warm lately. Yesterday was 50+ degrees and it’s predicted to be that warm for the rest of the week. We actually had a white Thanksgiving with snow and even a bit of an ice storm, but now we are going to have a non-white Christmas.

Anyhow, I digress. Christmas is finally here and the New Year is right around the corner too. You may be thinking it’s too late to save any more money this year, but you are wrong.

I plan to save money on my holidays, have fun, AND start the New Year off on the right financial foot by doing the following:

Celebrate at Home

I honestly think “going out” for NYE is over-rated. The only reason I’d celebrate NYE somewhere other than at my own house is if I were going to a friend’s house instead. By having a NYE party at my house, I can control who is there. This ensures that I don’t have to deal with the drunken shenanigans that would surely ensue if I were to celebrate NYE at a bar or some other location. Plus, I’m kind of a hermit and I don’t always make it to midnight anyway.

Wear Clothes I Already Own

As a reforming fashionista, it kind of kills me to say this, but for the 2nd year in a row, I am planning on wearing clothes I already own for Christmas parties, Christmas day, and NYE. That may not sound like a huge financial win, but it’s definitely progress compared to what I have done in past years.

Me in past years.

Stick to Cash

It’s usually inevitable that my friends and I end up making a run to the liquor store, or to Walmart, for more booze (it is a party after all), snacks, or some other form of entertainment, like a new board or card game (Cards Against Humanity anyone?). These outings can get pretty expensive if you have already had some liquid courage clouding your better judgement. (Don’t worry, we always have a DD.) This is why I try to always keep some extra cash on me during this time of year. Although “extra cash” implies that it’s over and above my normal budgeted spending, it’s still a lot safer to take a set amount of cash and end up spending all of it instead of taking a debit or credit card and spending even more.

This time of year is full of celebrations with friends and family and it’s bound to be more expensive than “normal” months the rest of the year. You definitely don’t want to un-do your financial progress or shoot yourself in the foot with an extra-large credit card bill in January, but you don’t want to be a mean old Grinch either.

Finding some balance is key so you can have fun and still start the New Year off on the right financial foot.

How are you celebrating and still saving money this year? Have you ever played Cards Against Humanity? Spill it in the comments below.

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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